The Eat Out Top 10 draws a fair amount of criticism. I don’t think it would be possible to select 10 restaurants from the many excellent restaurants in South Africa without drawing criticism. Whether you did a top 10 or a top 50, there would always be the question “why this restaurant but not that one?”. There are many good restaurants in SA, and what separates many of them is often very minor, that is why a panel of experts is required to make that very difficult decision and the rest of us have to trust them.
What we cannot deny is that the 10 restaurants that are selected are definitely among the best in South Africa, and one is guaranteed a fantastic dining experience at any of them. What is also apparent is that the restaurants themselves definitely benefit from being on the list. Many restaurateurs and chefs have told me that they get a lot of guests, particularly tourists, who are eating their way through the top 10. So they definitely want to make it onto the list.
Being nominated is perhaps a consolation prize. While it does not provide the exposure of being on the top 10 list, it certainly indicates that the restaurant is at that level. It’s particularly useful for us locals, because we have an additional 10 restaurants to eat at which are of a very high calibre.
Below is the list 20 restaurants nominated as finalists for the Eat Out 2010 top 10. You will notice that a majority (13) of them are in the Western Cape, as we have come to expect. If you’re interested in previous top 10 winners, click these links: 2010, 2009, 2008. The actual awards ceremony will take place at the Westin Grand on the 28th November 2010. If you would like to attend this prestigious event (and enjoy a 4 course meal prepared by top chefs), book your tickets at the Eat Out website. Their site has recently been revamped so when you are there, take a look around.
George Jardine at Jordan Restaurant
The Restaurant at Waterkloof
Reuben’s in Franschhoek
Rust en Vrede
Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français